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28

To start the list: I myself found 'On writing' from Stephen King very helpful.


19

As long as you approach it with good writing practices and treat it as you would your own real writing project, it can help you practice the art of putting words on paper. What it will not prepare you for, however, is world-building, which is the other half of the battle when you write, and is just as important as your ability to write. You can be a ...


16

A few of my favourite writing books: Steven King's On Writing - hands down the most inspirational read on writing I've read (and his process is different than many). Eats, Shoots, and Leaves - a witty read on punctuation, great for sharpening that part of your brain. Sin and syntax - a book of examples of good and bad syntax, some of the most fluid writing ...


16

Writing is mostly a long-term profession. For most professional writers, writing is a long-term prospect. You are unlikely to make much money from one book, or five. Of course, unlikely is not the same as impossible. What makes a professional career work: A reader reads one of your books, enjoys it, searches for another one, and finds one. So to make a ...


15

"Pantsing" refers to simply writing a story without much, if any, preparation or pre-writing -- just writing down whatever comes to you, and letting the story go (and wander) wherever it feels like at the moment you're writing it down. As for etymology, I'm not sure where it comes from. In general, "pantsing" refers to a prank in which you pull someone's ...


13

On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser


12

In general, I feel that fanfic is a crutch that keeps a lot of people from honing their craft and moving on to original fiction. After years of NaNoWriMo and some side work with an editor, I've only seen one person start with fanfic and graduate to doing their own, thoroughly original work. It's like they're just too scared to ever leave their comfort ...


12

When I'm thinking about where I learned most how to write, I think that reading was the most important guide to me. This may sound silly, but by reading good written newspaper articles (facts, opinions, scientific articles and most of all, criticisms of films and music), I learned how others did the job, what works and what doesn't. In my own writing, I try ...


12

Really simple answer is this: Write one book. Tie up all the loose ends. Make it one complete story. But imagine it as book one of a series. Don't let we the reader know that -- it should be undetectable to us, but you will know there's potential for a series. When sending to agents and publishers ensure you include the golden words: "Stand-alone novel ...


9

Orson Scott Card: Characters and Viewpoint Keith Johnstone: Impro for storytellers (intended for improv actors, but energizing to read and it gives useful tips about what makes a story roll) Jerome Stern: Making shapely fiction Paul Matthews: Sing me the creation (exercises intended for poets, but useful for prose writing, too)


9

A good parody requires a similar structure and a similar melody while altering certain words and, thus, the intention of the work. In the case of the posted verse, the syllable distribution disrupts the flow of particular sentences. Hey Verve, if you could see me now | Hey ma, if could see me now "Verve" is potentially too bulky to replace the simple ...


9

Write. Write a lot. And then write some more. Though your daughter may be a very good writer, it's pretty unlikely that she's going to write anything publishable at her age. So the best thing for her to do would be to just write whatever she wants, and work on getting experience and effort. Focus on finishing things and getting breadth of experience. Try ...


8

Writing Down the Bones Good start, nice lessons to improve your skills, just ignore the Zen stuff.


8

Bird by Bird by Anne Lammott


8

No, you don't need to set up a business to self-publish a book. In the U.S., royalty income and all related expenses to publishing the book (e.g. paying a graphic designer to create a cover, advertising, travel expenses for a book tour, etc.) are reported on Schedule C of your personal tax return. EDIT Regarding Social Security and Medicare taxes, you ...


8

Amazon will send you a 1099 that will identify the amount of royalties that they paid you. If you are just now starting, I would strongly recommend setting aside at least 30% of everything you earn in royalties as soon as you receive it. You are now considered self-employed, and the self employment tax as 15% of your royalties, and the Social ...


7

BeginningWriters.com has some good articles for beginning writers. http://beginningwriters.com/


7

Strunk and White: The Elements of Style


7

Answer them now. They have put time into your story, at your request. Do not ask them to waste their time while you decide whether you want them to publish the story that you asked them to consider. This is why most publishers forbid simultaneous submissions. If the publisher in question allows them, give them the courtesy of a prompt reply. It sounds ...


6

Story by Robert McKee is one of my favorites. It's about screenwriting, but has a huge amount of information on storytelling in general.


6

Have a look at 750words.com, maybe you'll find it useful. At least it's all about writing, not reading. (I agree with @John Smithers' comment)


6

The problem with fan fiction is that it will always be tied down to the source material, and can't really become more than what it is. They're a sidetrack rather than a stepping stone. Okay, to reword that first paragraph: If you are going to draw from a source material, be aware that you are creating a branch of the source material. You're creating ...


6

The following were very informative for me, for various reasons: How to Write Best Selling Fiction, by Dean Koontz: no-nonsense, practical, full of real-world examples, though a bit dated. The Craft of Writing Science Fiction That Sells, by Ben Bova: examines the mechanics of what the craft of writing good fiction consists of (note Bova was an editor for ...


6

The following are the books I have found especially helpful over the years Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft (8th Edition) by Janet Burroway et. al. This is the first book on the craft I bought based on the recommendation of the instructor in the first fiction writing class I took back in college. It is now in its 8th edition. Points of View ...


6

I would strongly recommend these three books for any author, published or aspiring: On Writing by Stephen King Plot & Structure by James Campbell Characters and Viewpoints by Orson Scott Card I'd also commend the yearly Writer's Market books - they have great articles in there for writers. And you can't beat Strunk and White's Elements of Style. ...


6

Screenwriting: http://www.screenwriting.info/ The Complete Idiot's Guide to Screenwriting Playwriting: http://www.scriptfrenzy.org/introtoplaywriting Writing for the Stage: A Practical Playwriting Guide


6

In my experience, revising teaches more about good writing than anything else. Most people who are not experienced writers are putting so much effort and attention into getting something down on paper that they have no mental RAM left for phrasing and style. Instead of worrying about your friend's writing per se, offer to act as a sounding board to help by ...


6

Here are some SFF-specific resources: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America - The professional organization for SFF writers. The website has a blog and articles about craft and business. Critters workshop - Specifically for SF, F, and H. It's a free workshop. You have to critique to post. But a great way to start would be to join and read the ...


6

Download a random ebook from Amazon, or read a random blog, and you will see that most writers are not ready for prime time. (In the old days, they got screened out by agents and publishers, so this wasn't so obvious.) It's not that most writers are awful (although some are), but they fall short in critical areas. Their writing is charming, but hokey. Or ...



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